Insurance commissioner holds town halls to address problems receiving fire coverage

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara continued his tour of town halls addressing residents’ difficulty obtaining fire insurance with a stop in Grass Valley on Thursday.

Homeowners in cities that are considered at risk for wildfires have been receiving notices from their insurance companies that their fire insurance would not be renewed or that their premiums would be raised significantly.

The Boards of Supervisors for Nevada and Placer counties had sent Lara’s office a letter detailing their concerns about the situation. Lara also noted that complaints regarding fire insurance have increased 600% since 2010.

One resident spoke about their rate increasing $3,000, while another resident said that he was lucky to even find a policy in the first place, according to media reports.

“This is a real problem in these communities,” Lara said to ABC10. “Not only does it affect the individual homeowner, but it’s affecting the local economy. If you can’t find insurance for your property, then you can’t sell your property, it affects the assessment of your property and it affects the local tax space.”

Lara spoke about the issue to Placer County officials on Aug. 7 and plans to hold town halls in Auburn on Wednesday and Sonora in Tuolumne County on Thursday.